With holiday shopping approaching, consumers weigh pocketbook issues

Mitchell Hartman Oct 26, 2018
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The billions of dollars spent on holiday shopping each year leaves out one big piece of the gift-giving puzzle. Sean Gallup/Getty Images

With holiday shopping approaching, consumers weigh pocketbook issues

Mitchell Hartman Oct 26, 2018
The billions of dollars spent on holiday shopping each year leaves out one big piece of the gift-giving puzzle. Sean Gallup/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Consumers have been upbeat lately, according to the University of Michigan sentiment survey. Economic fundamentals — like low unemployment, a strong job market, and an uptick in wages — are driving near record-high optimism. But there are other things consumers may be considering as they start to think about holiday purchases: recent stock market volatility, trade tensions, rising interest rates. The stock market gyrations that have erased much of the year’s gains may dampen consumer confidence, especially in upper-income households, although those are also the people who probably saw the biggest gains from recent tax cuts. For other Americans, a rise in gas prices could weigh on spending decisions. Last year, holiday sales were strong, up more than 5 percent from 2016.

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